Put a bird on it

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Tippecanoe and Tyler Too: a totally tired, totally cheating travelogue’

I picked the picture at the top of this post for two reasons. One, because it has a bird (actually, many birds) on it. (Hail, Portlandia!) And two, because it shows a bed.

We flew home very late last night from our latest birding adventure, and boy are my arms tired. (Sorry, fatigue has made me giddy and prone to awful puns.) Meanwhile, don’t you hate trendy gerunds like ‘birding’? Like ‘parenting’ and ‘mothering’. What’s next, ‘kidding’? Oh. There already is a ‘kidding’.

Anyway. Since I have a mountain of sweaty stinky birding duds to burn (er, wash) I’ve decided to take the easy way out and just show you all some pictures from our trip. (I know, I know. Shades of the Olden Days when vacationers would bore their friends with their slides. (Which were like photos, but were these things they’d put in a ‘projector’ and show on a ‘screen’.) But really. If you’d been on a post-holiday night flight full of screaming kids accompanied by adults sorely lacking in Basic Parenting Skills, you’d choose this option too.)

So on with the (not-slides-but-close) show!

Happy Trails. The Dude in his element. And I don’t mean mud

We were in Darien Province, which is where there is this big ole gap in the Pan-American Highway. I won’t get into the reason there is a gap here. (Yawn.) But you can read about it here if you are curious. 

The sign at the end of the road — er, the gap in the Pan-American Highway

It’s really muddy and really hot and sticky here. I know because I tried to wash our icky birding clothes in the sink after the first 90-plus degree-and-humidity day and it took three days for them to dry. I gave up after that. (Hmmm. Should have worn those clothes on the plane. We would have had the row to ourselves.)

The Graveyard Shift. It was hotter than hell in there. Which is probably where we’re going after tromping around on dead people

The birding was also hot. And heavy. We were all over the place chasing little (and big) avian critters. We birded on foot — lots of ‘on foot’ — by van, and by boat.

Our ‘boat’ was an actual dugout canoe. (Note hand-crafted evidence on the sides and bottom.) That’s The Dude, digging it. That’s me, or at least my squinty fear wrinkles, in the foreground

Where did we go in that dugout? To a remote island, to find the Dusky Whatnot. That’s the (very muddy, very slippery) Stairway to Birder Heaven. And no, that’s NOT me descending it

Another Roadside Attraction. Our guide would listen (while driving!) and stop whenever he heard anything interesting, birdwise

We also brake for cute monkeys. Look closely and you’ll see a critter poking his head out of that tree trunk

Tromping around on trails and splashing around in dugouts — or even pulling up by the side of the road — means forgetting all nods to fashion. One accessorizes one’s neck with binoculars. And no one leaves the tent for the day without a personal stock of TP. BTW, birding is one of the few occasions when I envy men. Squatting in chigger-infested bushes is not for the dainty.

This village allowed us Birding Gals the use of a real potty, complete with TP. It was padlocked securely when we were done

And when we were really done? As in, for the day? Well. We collapsed on our tent-side deck. Which I wish I had access to right now. Instead, I’ve gotta get back to business — and those muddy clothes.

Happy Canopy Camper. (It’s a good thing this picture is not scratch-and-sniff)

New York City. January 2018